Eddy Current Brakes: How Do They Work and Where Are They Used?

Eddy current brakes are a unique braking system that has revolutionized modern machinery. Unlike regular brakes that use kinetic energy and heat energy to function, eddy current braking relies on electromagnetism.

Read our blog to learn more about the benefits of this electromagnetic brake.

What Are Eddy Current Brakes?

To understand eddy current brakes, you must first understand how regular brakes work. Regular brakes use friction to stop an object from moving. Every moving object has kinetic energy. To stop kinetic energy, brakes convert it into heat energy.

In a car, the hydraulics system is initiated by the brake pedal, which uses multiplied force and heat energy to stop the vehicle.

However, these brakes wear over time and with frequent use, begin to fade.

With electromagnetism, electric conductors pass through magnetic fields. In a magnetic braking system, the electrical current flows around the conductor to create heat energy.

How Does Electromagnetic Braking Stop Objects From Moving?

When the electric conductor starts moving current, two magnetic fields are created. One field works with the current; the other field works against it.

The first part of the magnetic field tries to slow it down, and the second part will absorb the object’s kinetic energy and start to slow it down as well.

There are two types of electromagnetic brakes: linear and circular.

Linear brakes are composed of a stationary element and a moving part. These types of brakes are commonly found on trains and roller coasters.

Both the tracks and the train/rollercoaster have metal built into them to react to each other.

As the objects move across the track, it keeps producing kinetic energy. The metal absorbs the energy and uses it to stop the train or rollercoaster when the brake is engaged.

Circular brakes have an electromagnetic component that is static or moving. The static circular brakes have a metal disc that produces eddy currents.

The moving circular brakes use electromagnetic coils and a wheel to create a magnetic force field for the eddy currents.

Is the Magnetic Braking System Becoming More Popular?

For years, engineers and scientists have experimented with eddy current brakes. Engineers like the fact that these brakes don’t require an intricate hydraulics system.

There are less moving parts in an eddy current braking system which makes them cheaper to make and easier to maintain.

Most engineers use copper, a relatively inexpensive metal, as the metal component.

As inexpensive and simple as the system is, it’s used to power some heavy machinery. As mentioned earlier, the braking system is common for trains and rollercoasters-two high-powered vehicles that weigh multiple tons.

They can also be found in gym equipment, industrial equipment, and recreational equipment.

The eddy current braking system is commonly used in power tools and other industrial equipment.

The emergency function in power tools and heavy machinery is powered by eddy current brakes. Once the shutoff button is engaged, the brakes bring the spinning metal pieces to a halt.

Time to Try A Magnetic Braking System

Are you interested in eddy current brakes? If so, we can help.

Contact us today to learn more about our braking systems.

Posted in Industrial Brakes and Clutches.